Story: Poultry industry

Page 6. Industry structure

All images & media in this story

Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand

The Poultry Industry Association of New Zealand (PIANZ) represents the interests of poultry processing and breeding companies. Membership is voluntary, but over 99% of the country’s chicken meat producers are members. PIANZ secures representation before boards, committees and commissions. They also co-ordinate research and development in livestock breeding, industry training, promotion and public relations.

Cholesterol culprits?

Eggs have a reputation for being high in cholesterol, but eating fewer eggs has little, if any, effect on blood cholesterol levels. This is because when cholesterol is eaten, the body makes less in order to maintain the right balance.

Major producers

Together, the four largest poultry-meat producers supply over 99% of the country’s poultry meat. They are Tegel Foods (operating in Auckland, New Plymouth and Christchurch), Inghams Enterprises (Waikato), PH van den Brink (Christchurch and South Auckland) and Turks Poultry (Manawatū).

The remaining 1% of the market is distributed between about 10 smaller producers who cater for niche markets. They produce a range of poultry alongside chickens, with some specialising in just one species such as duck or turkey.

Market prospects

New Zealanders now eat more chicken than any other type of meat. Consumption has increased from less than 1 kilogram per person per year in the late 1960s to 30.4 kilograms in 2009. Production has increased to meet this demand.

The increase in demand is due to:

  • health benefits – people have begun to favour low-fat foods. Chicken is believed to be low in fat (although some cuts such as legs contain more fat), and is high in protein.
  • cultural reasons – New Zealand is becoming increasingly multicultural, and many international cuisines use poultry meat.
  • convenience – easy to prepare and quick to cook, chicken is found in many fast foods.

Egg Producers Federation and Eggs Inc.

The Egg Producers Federation of New Zealand (EPFNZ) was formed in July 1989 to represent commercial egg producers. Membership is mandatory under the Commodity Levies (Eggs) Order 2009 – any person or organisation that buys 100 or more day-old layer chicks automatically becomes a member. The EPFNZ is funded by a levy which is incorporated into the price of the chicks, and is payable on chicks up to five days old when sold for the first time. 60% of the EPFNZ levy is used to fund Eggs Inc., an organisation that promotes eggs.

The age of an egg

The ‘best-before’ date on an egg carton tells you how long the eggs are safe to eat. During this period (usually about 35 days) there is little change in the nutritional value of the eggs, but their appearance and cooking qualities may change. Fresher eggs hold their shape better when poached or fried, but hard-boiled eggs are much easier to peel if the eggs are over a week old.


In the early 2000s significant numbers of live day-old chicks and fertile hatching eggs were exported to the Pacific Islands and other regions of Oceania. New Zealand also exports a small amount of eating eggs and egg products, mainly to the Pacific Islands.

How to cite this page:

Vanessa Wintle and Stacey Lepper, 'Poultry industry - Industry structure', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 July 2024)

Story by Vanessa Wintle and Stacey Lepper, published 24 Nov 2008